The UN-led Cyprus peace process, of the past five years, has not yielded the results which the UN and the Cypriot President had anticipated, both have indicated in statements in New York after a meeting.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting at the UN headquarters, President Christofias said they evaluated the joint efforts the past five years and he bid farewell to the UNSG, as he is not running for re-election in next year’s presidential elections.
“We have both reached the conclusion that the efforts have, unfortunately, not yielded the results we had expected, despite the fact that a serious backdrop has been created during the various rounds of talks, both in Cyprus and in New York,” President Christofias told the press.
The President expressed the view that there are barely any prospects for a change and serious progress in the talks before the presidential elections. “For this reason, there is an effort to keep the talks alive, through meetings of the technical committees”, he added.
President Christofias said he warmly thanked the UN SG for his “unfailing personal effort to solve the Cyprus issue, at a time when many issues are underway in various parts of the planet”. He said he promised the UN chief that after the presidential elections, he will continue to work to free Cyprus, bring peace to the island, get rid of the Turkish occupation and create close relations with the Turkish Cypriots in a reunited peaceful Cyprus.
On the issue of a document which the UN are set to prepare on the convergences and divergences in the talks, Christofias noted that “any further discussion of the issue would only cause problems, bearing in mind that some are afraid to hear that there have been convergences between Christofias and (former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali) Talat”.
Christofias said that it was natural for the UN to want to document what has been achieved or not during the five years of talks, and especially in the first two years” when Talat was still the Turkish Cypriot leader.
Asked if Ban referred to the end of the road in the talks which will begin with the new Cyprus President, Christofias said the UN SG has not talked about any end of the road.
“I am sure that after the elections, he will renew his efforts for an overall solution to the problem. If Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, the occupation force, are interested in a solution, then we will have a solution based on principles and UN resolutions and the high level agreements. If the interested parties do not show interest and good will, what can the SG do?” he wondered.
The SG will renew his efforts after the elections, as he has promised to do, the President concluded.
Meanwhile, a readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with President Christofias, on the margins of the 67th United Nations General Assembly, said the two “took stock of the process to date to find a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem and exchanged views on the status of negotiations”.
The readout said “the work of the bi-communal technical committees was noted as was the contribution of UNFICYP”.
“The UN will continue working with the parties and with other key stakeholders including Greece and Turkey. Finally, the Secretary-General and President Christofias exchanged views on regional challenges”.
Referring to his meeting with the five permanent members of the Security Council, President Christofias said “we reviewed our common efforts”, adding that he has expressed his government’s gratitude “because the SC decisions are those which keep Cyprus standing as an independent, sovereign state, member of the international community, despite the efforts of the other side to undermine the Republic - something which has not been achieved - and upgrade the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied areas”.
Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The two communities in Cyprus-the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot-have been engaged in UN-backed talks with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.
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